This year started out like most for university instructors and students, but the coronavirus changed the schedule mid-semester. Spring break has been extended until summer, maybe even longer.
News outlets have reported universities and colleges sending students home, moving traditional classes online, and requiring all faculty and non-essential staff to work off-site. Though educational institutions are creating social distance between themselves and those they serve, there are multiple examples of universities still reaching out. Here are just a few of those:
Stanford University has helped pay travel costs for students to go home after campus was closed. Travel costs were either directly paid by Stanford or students were reimbursed. Providing funds for travel is one less stress for students who are wondering what will happen next.
MIT is offering confidential web-based support groups for students seeking emotional support during the Coronavirus crisis. Though students may now be thousands of miles from campus, MIT is providing resources to ease mental strain.
Florida State University
Florida State University has started two fundraisers to collect donations. These funds will help students pay for medical bills, living expenses, and the required technology for online learning. This is a boon for students who have lost financial stability during COVID-19.
Vanderbilt University is automatically adjusting student costs for housing and dining to reflect their shortened stay on campus. The automatic adjustment relieves students of the red tape of applying for cost reductions.
University of Georgia
University of Georgia realizes not every student has easy access to computers and the internet, both needed for online learning. It is offering computers and hotspots to qualified individuals. Students do not need to worry about failing just because they do not have a laptop or easy internet access.
University of the Pacific
University of the Pacific is looking ahead to Commencement. It is already planning on virtual graduation ceremonies by college. And 2020 grads are welcome to walk in the 2021 traditional Commencement. Regardless of how long the Coronavirus pandemic endures, graduates will still enjoy this rite of passage.
Boston University’s clinical operations
Boston University’s clinical operations have moved online as much as possible. Remote programs include the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Physical Therapy at the Ryan Center, and Sargent Choice Nutrition. The health and well-being of students remains paramount despite the physical distance between students and their universities.
These universities are just a handful of those around the world that are trying to help their students and faculty cope. Rather than falling back on the old adage, “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” educational institutions everywhere are rewording that phrase. Instead, it seems “Desperate times call for inventive and compassionate measures” is the motto.